Do you have a school motto? Do your students, teachers, and administrators believe in its message? If not, it may be time to create a new slogan or motto that everyone in your school can rally behind.

The #NAESP16 conference hosted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals had a guiding motto or theme to inspire best practices for better schools: Lead. Learn. Light the Way! It was a strong unifying phrase that did what any good motto should do, which is to encapsulate the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution.

In one of the workshop sessions for school principals entitled, “Don’t Shy Away from Greatness” the presenter, a school principal from Iowa named Nick Proud, shared this step-by-step process for creating a new school motto that can help bring your school to greatness.

  • First, paint a picture in your mind of what you want to see happen in your school.
  • Define how this will happen.
  • Create your motto or slogan.
  • Make promises with students, such as promising to make a fresh start each day, promising to inspire students to do their best, and promising to believe in fellow students. Then display them in each classroom.
  • Promote the vision and make sure the slogan impacts the real work.
  • Celebrate. The final step in getting to greatness is to make sure to celebrate your successes.

Liz Garden’s blog post on NAESP’s The Principal’s Office shares the rest of her takeaways from the workshop session. To read more, click here.